While there is plenty of good hunting to be had all over the UK, property expert Carla Passino says that Leicestershire really is the crème de la crème when it comes to prime hunting country. Here, she explains why...
Why should the hunting community head to Leicestershire?
Modern hunting was born in Leicestershire, when Hugh Meynell began breeding hounds at the Quorn Hall estate. Today the local packs — the Quorn, Cottesmore (pictured), Fernie and Belvoir — are some of the best in the UK, with the hunting country nothing short of fantastic.
“Many parts of Leicestershire are designed for hunting with coverts planted at strategic points, jumpable hedges and post and rails throughout the most popular areas,” says Richard Clowes of Richard Clowes Property Search & Consultancy.
Who are the top riders you will struggle to kep up with hunting in Leicestershire?
Vere and Clea Phillipps, who live at Grange Farm in Rempstone, hunt with the Quorn and produce successful hunters, alongside showjumpers, event and National Hunt horses. While event riders Mark and Tanya Kyle are based at Queenholme Equestrian in Wymeswold, where they offer training and some livery services.
Where can you hone your jumping skills?
There’s a good choice of equestrian centres in the area — Witham Villa in Broughton Astley, Vale View in Old Dalby, Brooksby Equestrian Centre in Melton Mowbray and Markfield Equestrian Centre in Markfield.
Where can you be competitive off the hunting field?
Point-to-pointing is at Garthorpe, and across the county border at Dingley and Guilsborough in Northamptonshire, and Clifton-on-Dunsmore in Warwickshire.
The Fernie Hunt Supporters Association holds hunter trials at Illston-on-the-Hill in September, while a range of equestrian classes are available at the popular Blaston Show in Blaston, near Market Harborough.
What are the property prices like?
Richard Clowes explains: “About £150,000 for five acres with stables, at least £500,000 for a basic property with some land, over £1.25 million for a farmhouse with a few acres and some equestrian facilities.”
Don’t miss our property feature about Leicestershire in the current issue of Horse & Hound magazine (28 January 2016)